Congestion reduction measures to get funding

Chancellor Philip Hammond has presented the 2017 Spring Budget, with aims announced to ease congestion on local roads.

The government has continued to commit to funding improvements for transport infrastructure, with Hammond announcing £690 million for new local transport projects, especially those that will improve congestion on roads and public transport, and help alleviate the current air pollution problems in the UK.

A further £220 million is made available to improve congestion points on national roads, with £90 million going specifically to the North and £23 million to the Midlands.

Commenting on the announcement, Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, the sustainable transport campaigning group, said: “Congestion is strangling towns and cities across the UK, bringing urban centres to a standstill and costing the economy more than £13 billion each year. We are delighted the Chancellor has acknowledged the severity of this problem, and await with interest further details of the £690 million fund to ease traffic on the worst pinch points in local transport networks.

“This funding is a step in the right direction. But if this Government is serious about tackling congestion, and confronting the emerging public health threat caused by roadside air pollution, it must have the courage to confront the root cause of the issue - rising car use.

“While fuel duty remains frozen and the cost of driving remains low, we can only expect traffic and pollution levels to get worse. Only by raising duty and the cost of driving the dirtiest diesel vehicles can we encourage people out of their cars and tackle the congestion and air quality problems once and for all.”

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